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Radford Family

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Whoosh
4 minutes ago, SpoonfulOSugar said:

I don't think the issue is with the age of consent, per se.

I think the underlying issue (for me, at least) is defining abuse.  I can deem a relationship inappropriate, ill-advised, illegal, distasteful, etc., but I don't assume that it is inherently abusive.  To me, abuse must be MORE than solely a matter of age disparity.

Insisting a relationship is inherently abusive, even when those within the relationship disagree, denies a person agency.

That's a problem.

Yes, the US has consent laws.  But we also have Romeo and Juliet statutes, and we have cases which can be cited where statutory rape laws ended up being dreadful, especially for young men who are tagged with the "abuser" label for the rest of their lives.

I hear you, but many child AND adult victims of abuse do not define it as abuse.  Is it OK to have sex with a 6 year old if the 6 year old does not define that as abuse?  Is it OK to forcibly rape your 45 year old wife when she says NO and tries to fight you off because the 45 year old wife does not define it as abuse or rape?*

I get what you are saying, but it is not a clear "listen to the potential victim and agree with them" situation in my mind.

* ETA - what level of harm must the person suffer before it is OK to take away their agency on that topic?  That kind of thing.

Edited by Whoosh

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SpoonfulOSugar
Just now, Whoosh said:

I hear you, but many child AND adult victims of abuse do not define it as abuse.  Is it OK to have sex with a 6 year old if the 6 year old does not define that as abuse?  Is it OK to forcibly rape your 45 year old wife when she says NO and tries to fight you off because the 45 year old wife does not define it as abuse or rape?

I get what you are saying, but it is not a clear "listen to the potential victim and agree with them" situation in my mind.

No, of course it's not.  It's not about the VICTIM defining abuse so much as it is looking for elements of abuse:  inequal power (which is much more than an age differential), manipulation, grooming, etc.  It's difficult to codify that, which I understand is why age is used.

But to look at this PARTICULAR case, and insist that it is abuse, in my mind, is not supported by facts.  The difference between an abstract theoretical discussion and a particular situation is huge.

EVERY situation should have some degree of flexibility.  To be an absolutist, and not look at the whole picture and the details, is what I have objected to throughout.

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Whoosh
1 minute ago, SpoonfulOSugar said:

No, of course it's not.  It's not about the VICTIM defining abuse so much as it is looking for elements of abuse:  inequal power (which is much more than an age differential), manipulation, grooming, etc.  It's difficult to codify that, which I understand is why age is used.

But to look at this PARTICULAR case, and insist that it is abuse, in my mind, is not supported by facts.  The difference between an abstract theoretical discussion and a particular situation is huge.

EVERY situation should have some degree of flexibility.  To be an absolutist, and not look at the whole picture and the details, is what I have objected to throughout.

Totally agree with all that.  Thanks for expanding on it for me @SpoonfulOSugar

Edited by Whoosh

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AmazonGrace

It is not very difficult to keep your genitals off a child if you're worried about getting the abuser label.

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Mercer

I have mixed feelings about this family in general. On the one hand, they are clearly better parents and better citizens than the Duggars. On the other hand, I'm very skeptical that any two parents, no matter how skilled, could really raise the equivalent of a school class without compromising the individual needs of any of the kids - but I also don't know where the cutoff is on how many is too many, and I think it's different for every family. I absolutely believe the Radfords have the right to bear and raise as many children as they choose... but I still don't necessarily think that bearing and raising such a huge family is wise or advisable.

I'm also of two minds on the age thing. I don't think that it's healthy or positive for a child of that age to be in a sexual relationship with a young adult. On the other hand, when I was their age, that type of relationship was considered perfectly normal as long as you went to the same school at the time you started the relationship. It would have been seen as odd if the younger partner was at the junior high or if the older partner had already started college, but a freshman and a senior would not have raised eyebrows even if there was a significant age gap because kids in school together were considered peers. Is that a good thing? Not necessarily, and looking back it seems like a red flag. But back then it was what it was. Different time, different standards. Ultimately, I don't think it's appropriate to try to impose a legal remedy on a situation that occurred decades in the past and was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. I'm still kind of uncomfortable with it, though, and I definitely think that looking forward instead of back, we need to be mindful of kids being protected.

 

Edited by Mercer

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Grimalkin
On January 25, 2016 at 3:34 PM, Gobsmacked said:

They are shown on British TV to prove that not all large families are a drain on the government. They are shown as a positive , not a negative.

The Duggars, although apparently not in debt( josh owes/d vast amount of taxes?)

are a hugely negative influence.

     I guess it's all about perception. At 13 or 14 a show like this might of been proof to me that the cute 18 yo boy I was crushing on and myself could live happily ever after. I don't think this man is a preditor and I am glad it worked out for them. I just don't think it's a typical outcome.  My bff at that age was boy crazy and looked older than she was. she did end up being sexually active with older teen boys. She did believe it was love, and she was used and thrown away and heartbroken. She was then labeld slut. Wash, rinse, repeat. Had a baby senior year and was completely not ready for it.

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Gobsmacked

Thankyou spoonful of sugar for explaining so well what my addled(temporarily ) brain wanted to say.

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Waffle Time
Gemini

While I have to admit that this family are nothing like the Duggars, I do wonder how much attention the children get from the parents. The kids are in school (another plus) however, school hours are usually from 8.55 - 3.30, which doesn't leave much time for spending good quaility with each individual child. Then what about homework, reading books ect. I expect the older ones are leant on heavily!

That said, from what you can tell on the small snapshots we see into their lives, they come across as a happy family with lots of love. 

It does irritate me slightly when their claims that they don't live on benefits, gives the impression that they don't take anything out of the system. The Dad will pay taxes out of his wages, however he will get working family tax credits back. 

This basically means that what he earns is divided by the amount of dependants and if he is under a certain amount per child he will get an extra allowance. And that's excluding the £59 per child (u19) per month child benefit they get on top of this.

Now there is nothing wrong with claiming tax credits, it's one of the Uk's better ideas, and many people (if not most) use them, however the Radcliffe's have a lot of children and that's a lot of tax payers/government money they are receiving. I would even go as far to say that is would take a number of 2/3 person families claiming unemployment benefits to even make a dent in how much tax credits the Radcliffe's are getting.

in addition to this, the Uk has free health care. A truly amazing system, but one that is seriously under financed. Yes the Radcliffe's pay taxes that go towards this system, most people do, but most people don't have that many people taking out of the health system and only putting one wage back in. 

I struggle to not see them as pretty selfish tbh. I love babies and children and if my partner hadn't passed away young, I joke that I would have had a football team, however we were living in Canada at the time and I know damn right that wouldn't be financially viable! However in the UK, with the tax credit system, things are a little easier to do that.

things are changing tho, I've mentioned in the Allen's thread, that the government here is trying to bring in a 2 child max tax credit/benefit system. So anyone who chooses to have 19 kids is fully welcome to but that have to pay for it entirely themselves.

Jeese, I've written an essay and as my spelling is atrocious I'll say sorry now! 

Edited by Gemini

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Melissa1977
On 22/1/2016 at 6:47 PM, JMO said:

If she is only 41 then she could easily have another one or two and outdo Michelle Duggar.  A heathen having more blessings! Imagine that!  And what made them decide to stop at 18?  #19 can't be that much of a surprise at this point. 

I suppose last delivery had some problem and doctors told her she could not get pregnant again. It's the only rational explanation for their surprise.

They can be nice people but no way you can give quality time to 18 kids. Come on, real mothers of +3 have difficulties finding time enough for each child! Most of the children must feel forgotten. Saying they look happy is like saying Bates look happy, yes they do, but is it true? 

About consent age, in my country it was 14, then 13, then 16. Maybe in UK 14 was legal when they dated. In Europe a 18 year old with a 14 year old girlfriend would not be considered child abuser by the society and prosecution won't happen except if the girl (or parents) ask for it. Of course I'm talking about consented relationships.

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Jessalyn

They just announced their 20th kid!

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samurai_sarah

The Radfords are nominally Anglican. They are self-supporting, and have repeatedly said that they just like having kids. No agenda.

Just to add info.

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JermajestyDuggar

What's funny is that they also have 10 boys and 9 girls like the Duggars. And now they are having another girl so they will have 10 and 10. 

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Bethella
Just now, samurai_sarah said:

No agenda.

They may not have an agenda but having the first baby at 14 shows that there are probably some underlying issues.

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Dandruff
8 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

What's funny is that they also have 10 boys and 9 girls like the Duggars. And now they are having another girl so they will have 10 and 10. 

I hope Michelle and Kelly know.

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Waffle Time
Stormy
8 minutes ago, Bethella said:

They may not have an agenda but having the first baby at 14 shows that there are probably some underlying issues.

With the four-year age difference between them, Noel had to be 18 when Sue was 14. And they've known each other since Sue was 7, making Noel 11; I feel like it's on the cusp of being creepy, given that it wouldn't be so if it were two years age difference or even three. The circumstances make it weird, since it's implied that they'd had time to be a couple before Sue fell pregnant. What 17-year-old dates a 13-year-old?

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feministxtian

I saw a show on them and they had 2 losses...one early and one at 21 weeks. I felt so bad for them...doesn't matter how many kids you have, a loss is a loss. Their losses were back to back. That sucks...

The kids all go to school, they have like a 10 bedroom house. 

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samurai_sarah
23 minutes ago, Bethella said:

They may not have an agenda but having the first baby at 14 shows that there are probably some underlying issues.

Possibly, but I can't make any kind of call. From what they said on the media, they are both adopted, and said that that was one of their reasons for having a large family.

Here's their blog: http://www.theradfordfamily.co.uk/meet-the-family/

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Bethella
Just now, samurai_sarah said:

Possibly, but I can't make any kind of call. From what they said on the media, they are both adopted, and said that that was one of their reasons for having a large family.

Here's their blog: http://www.theradfordfamily.co.uk/meet-the-family/

I've seen the blog and at least one of their shows. They're certainly doing better than the Duggars and Bateses and they're not bad people, but having a baby at 14 and going on to have 20 children are not normal. I think the underlying issues probably stem back to the adoptions and trying to find someone to love. 

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samurai_sarah
Just now, Bethella said:

I've seen the blog and at least one of their shows. They're certainly doing better than the Duggars and Bateses and they're not bad people, but having a baby at 14 and going on to have 20 children are not normal. I think the underlying issues probably stem back to the adoptions and trying to find someone to love. 

I personally agree that their choices aren't within the statistically "normal". But, the way I see it,  whatever their choices are, the Radfords aren't trying to convince us that their choices are the only ones.

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Gobsmacked
55 minutes ago, Bethella said:

I've seen the blog and at least one of their shows. They're certainly doing better than the Duggars and Bateses and they're not bad people, but having a baby at 14 and going on to have 20 children are not normal. I think the underlying issues probably stem back to the adoptions and trying to find someone to love. 

They have both said that when baby 19 was born. 

They are loving caring parents. Totally not like the Duggars.

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JermajestyDuggar

At first they didn't want a ton of kids. So the first four are a little spaced out. Then they went crazy and had a kid almost every year. Just imagine if they hadn't spaced out their kids at first. This one could be #24 instead of #20.

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imokit

One of the older girls got pregnant as moved a boy friend into the home. The granddaughter is also in that house being raised by her non married parents. Though I don't think that daughter has had more. She seems to be controlling her fertility.

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